Characterization of Potassium-Induced Natriuresis in Hypertensive Postmenopausal Women during Both Low and High Sodium Intake

Richard A. Preston, David Afshartous, Evelyn V. Caizapanta, Barry J Materson, Rolando Rodco, Eileen Alonso, Alberto B. Alonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Potassium-induced natriuresis may contribute to the beneficial effects of potassium on blood pressure but has not been well-characterized in human postmenopausal hypertension. We determined the time course and magnitude of potassium-induced natriuresis and kaliuresis compared with hydrochlorothiazide in 19 hypertensive Hispanic postmenopausal women. We also determined the modulating effects of sodium intake, sodium-sensitivity, and activity of the thiazide-sensitive NCC (sodium-chloride cotransporter). Methods: Sixteen-day inpatient confinement: 8 days low sodium followed by 8 days high sodium intake. During both periods, we determined sodium and potassium excretion following 35 mmol oral KCl versus 50 mg hydrochlorothiazide. We determined sodium-sensitivity as change in 24-hour systolic pressure from low to high sodium. We determined NCC activity by standard thiazide-sensitivity test. Results: Steady-state sodium intake was the key determinant of potassium-induced natriuresis. During low sodium intake, sodium excretion was low and did not increase following 35 mmol KCl indicating continued sodium conservation. Conversely, during high sodium intake, sodium excretion increased sharply following 35 mmol KCl to ≈37% of that produced by hydrochlorothiazide. Under both low and high sodium intake, 35 mmol potassium was mostly excreted within 5 hours, accompanied by a sodium load reflecting the steady-state sodium intake, consistent with independent regulation of sodium/potassium excretion in the human distal nephron. Conclusions: Potassium-induced natriuresis was not greater in sodium-sensitive versus sodium-resistant hypertensives or hypertensives with higher versus lower basal NCC activity. We studied an acute KCl challenge. It remains to further characterize potassium-induced natriuresis during chronic potassium increase and when potassium is administered a complex potassium-containing meal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-826
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • humans
  • hypertension
  • menopause
  • natriuresis
  • potassium
  • sodium
  • sodium chloride symporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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